"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Friday, November 4, 2016

Christianity and Democracy in the Shadow of Constantine

With an official release just days before the elections in November, this book's relevance will continue on after "our long national nightmare" of campaigning is temporarily concluded. (The American system desperately needs to follow the Anglo-Canadian example of campaigns legally limited to 60 days or fewer!) Christians, in this country as elsewhere, in this era as in all others, know that we are citizens of two kingdoms, and the earthly kingdom, no matter its polity, will never be perfect.

That being said, are some polities closer to the Christian ideal than others? Can anyone dispute that democracy, however debased it can often be, remains superior to the communist brutalities inflicted by various governments in various countries across Europe in the last century? As those countries--most of them predominantly Orthodox--continue to recover from communist wickedness, the task of thinking through still relatively new democratic forms of governance remains a vital one. This forthcoming collection, edited by George Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou (author of the recent and related study, The Mystical as Political: Democracy and Non-Radical Orthodoxy) of Fordham University, will aid in that task: Christianity, Democracy, and the Shadow of Constantine (Fordham UP, 2016), 272pp.

About this book the press tells us:
The collapse of communism in eastern Europe has forced traditionally Eastern Orthodox countries to consider the relationship between Christianity and liberal democracy. Contributors examine the influence of Constantinianism in both the post-communist Orthodox world and in Western political theology. Constructive theological essays feature Catholic and Protestant theologians reflecting on the relationship between Christianity and democracy, as well as Orthodox theologians reflecting on their tradition's relationship to liberal democracy. The essays explore prospects of a distinctively Christian politics in a post-communist, post-Constantinian age.

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